[A blog I wrote in 2009]
It may be cliche but it’s true, “You can’t please everyone.” And when you’re making decisions which affect a lot of people, you’re going to take harsh criticism.
1) People Will Disagree With Your Direction
Not matter which direction you take the ministry, someone is going to want to go elsewhere. If you choose to have a relational ministry, people complain you aren’t doing enough big events. If you choose to do expository sermons, people will complain the teaching isn’t topical and relevant enough.
2) People Will Judge You Without Having All the Information
In leadership people see the end results of your work, but they don’t always see the thought process which came before it. People will see the end result, and make assumptions about your motives and abilities. Often, if people would simply ask you why you made a decision, you could clear up a lot of confusion.
Recently I was part of a leadership team which put on an event which had over 1,500 people. The event was inherently a bit chaotic, but we’d put a lot of thought into finding ways to manage the chaos and keep kids safe. Some of the decisions we made in an effort to keep children safe ended up causing some children to get left out. Naturally, we received some negative feedback due to kids being left out. While several parents had good reason to be angry, the problem wasn’t lack of planning. The problem was we didn’t for see the negative consequences of our safety measures.
3) Wackos Will Come After You Because They’re Wackos
This one is self-explanatory. When you’re a highly visible person, you’re going to attract wackos.
4) People Will Gossip and Complain About You
It’s easier to complain about someone than it is to confront them with your complaint. This becomes all the more apparent when you’re in leadership and your decisions start affecting others.